News and Views
Kurdish fighters reclaim Iraq’s largest dam from Islamic State with support from US airstrikes
Kurdish fighters have recaptured Iraq’s largest dam from Jihadists amid ‘fierce resistance’ from Islamic fighters after support from US airstrikes, according to security officials.
The strategically important Mosul Dam – which supplies electricity and water to a large part of the country – was captured a week ago.
An attempt to retake it began yesterday morning with US air strikes before Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers moved into the area.
U.S. and Iraqi planes had aided the Kurdish advance by bombing militant targets close to the facility in the western governorate of Ninawa, which was captured by Jihadists on August 7.
The U.S. had began targeting Islamic State fighters with airstrikes a little over a week ago, allowing Kurdish forces to fend off an advance on their regional capital Irbil and to help tens of thousands of members of religious minorities escape the extremists’ onslaught.
The dam on the Tigris, which supplies electricity and water for irrigation to northern Iraq, was seized on 7 August and there were fears the IS militants could would sabotage or destroy the structure, releasing flood water downstream.
Recapturing the dam is a significant victory against the Islamic State group, which has seized vast swaths of northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria.
The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, launched the operation to retake the Mosul Dam early this morning, according to Kurdish commander General Tawfik Desty, after a day of U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes pushed back Islamic State fighters.